Root Cause Analysis of “As Is” System for Media Marketing
[See Base Line Solutions for Teams for Group Project 2 on p. 2 & 3]
1. Reports are sent out inconsistently
2. Reports are difficult to check for accuracy (large effort required)
3. Growing Backlog of tasks for developers
4. Redundant patching during bug fixes
5. WebConnect features (sorting / filtering) don’t work for some clients
6. Company is not achieving desired profitability (Profs’ note: should have been 1st
7. Difficulty coordinating between the two locations
8. Developers don’t always understand the New York architecture
9. No one knows exactly how the system works
10. Software architecture cannot be changed
11. Learning curve of the software is very high
12. New York has considerable incorrect data
13. Management is over-promising new features
14. Increased risk for bugs
15. Some employees hate using NetConnect
Symptoms 1-2: NetConnect isn’t standardized among various customers.
Symptoms 3-5 Programmers are overworked and not delivering everything necessary.
Symptom 6: Managers over-promise features to clients, with little concern for the
impact their promises have on the developers.
Symptoms 7-8: The two locations use different standards and utilize the system in
different ways which prevents the two environments from using a single instance of
Symptoms 9-10: Not enough developers know the ins and outs of the system, and those
that do are scared of losing their jobs.
Symptom 11: The software is old and hasn’t been overhauled to more contemporary
Symptom 12: New York information hasn’t been updated in a while.
Symptom 13-15: The current system doesn’t deliver enough features and new features
are not thoroughly tested.
MM Root Cause to post for GP2 – p. 1
Problems (Root Causes)
1. The problem is that there is too much per-customer customized code in NetConnect
2. The problem is that NetConnect/WebConnect lacks a good interface for users.
3. The problem is that NetConnect/WebConnect are outdated and need new features
to remain competitive.
4. The problem is that New York and Dallas are using NetConnect in different ways
instead of a standardized system.
5. The problem is the lack of integration and synergy between the two locations
partially due to a history of competition.
6. The problem is that there is a resistance to changing the software architecture due
to a developer scared of losing his job.
7. The problem is the deteriorating company culture after the merger and
acquisition—morale is low and communication is between upper management and
the employees as well as between New York and Dallas.
Summary of Main Problems: Will be focus of 3 Proposed Solutions *
Overhaul NetConnect/WebConnect: NetConnect is old and bug-ridden. It’s past the
point of being able to be fixed, and needs to be rewritten entirely. In addition, new
features must be added to attract new customers.
Standardize Operations: New York and Dallas need to run on one streamlined system,
and the data from New York needs to be verified. The problem comes from the lack of a
company wide, continuing effort to integrate the two locations.
Align Company Culture With Goals: Management needs to create a cohesive culture
that supports streamlining operations and employee team work.
Solution 1: Overhaul NetConnect/WebConnect
1. The interface must be intuitive and easy to learn.
2. The software must be standardized and need no per-customer code modifications.
3. The customer should be able to toggle options to view their information however
4. Reports should be standardized
5. New features should be relevant and desired by customers.
6. Proper documentation of all components of system
1. New system capabilities will be installed in 3 releases with the last release no later
than 8 months after the engagement begins officially with a formal contract.
2. The learning curve for users (auditors and account managers) should be less than 1
3. There must be 0 lines of code that reference a particular customer.
MM Root Cause to post for GP2 – p. 2
4. Customers must respond to a satisfaction survey 1 month after each launch that
indicates all of their desired viewing options are present.
5. Reports must be delivered on time and be accurate.
6. There should be no errors in the system that affect one customer but not another.
7. There should be a 10% increase in new customers in the first 3 months of the new
system being released.
Solution 2: Standardize Operations
1. All data should exist in a single data warehouse
2. All data should be up to date and accurate
3. Integration and standardization of systems and practices.
4. Coordination should be promoted between the two branches.
5. Standards must be written and enforced.
1. There should be 0 errors in data when the new system is released
2. Data from the two branches must operate together when the new system is
3. Audits for accuracy and content are made every month.
4. Review of company standards between the branches should be done in 4 months to
Solution 3: Align Company Culture with Goals
1. Management should recognize IT needs and adjust IT resources and organization to
meet Media Marketing's sales goals.
2. Sales staff and IT staff should have common goals and clear communication
3. Employee morale should be high through out the organization. .
1. IT staff and any outside IT consultants will be able to define their role responsibilities and
those of the functional areas with whom they work.
2. A professionally managed company survey should complete a base line survey of all
employee attitudes and company knowledge within a month. A follow up survey should be
conducted within 3 months.
3. Reorganize job duties and train employees within two months on new
4. The follow up survey should indicate employee morale ratings of job satisfaction
within the top 25 percent of base-line industry surveys.
Constraints for all 3 solutions: Not included in this posting
* Note about teams that included many more solutions: most were good and could
be included in these three summary areas. Quite a few provided specifics of HOW to
implement their recommended solutions. Group Project 2 teams need to decide
implementation decisions as they analyze the situation and make plans following the
analysis techniques that are part of Group Project 2.
MM Root Cause to post for GP2 – p. 3